The Weavers of Orlando, (WoO) is proud to announce the year 2017 as its 75th Diamond Jubilee. The guild has been an active educational and social organization in Central Florida since 1942. It promotes and encourages interest in the fiber arts such as weaving, spinning, basketry, dyeing, felting, and beading through its monthly programs, regular workshops, study groups and valuable instruction. It serves as an important clearinghouse of information on a variety of topics including yarn, loom sources and other weaving guilds across the United States. Proud of its 75-year history, the guild has planned events and exhibits in Central Florida through out the year.
IN THE BEGINNING….. AND HOW WE BECAME WEAVERS OF ORLANDO….
In 1931 a group of weavers in the Orlando area began meeting informally at each other’s homes to share a common interest in weaving. These ladies were: Mrs. Edith Arnold, Mrs. Elizabeth Burleigh, Miss Vivian Carr, Mrs. Claudia Cunningham, Mrs. Malcolm Frazer and Mrs. Lloyd Tucker. Word spread throughout the State of Florida about weavers in the Orlando area.
Word spread about weavers in the Orlando area and soon weavers from around the State began meeting with the group from Orlando in April 1937. The statewide group then formed our State Guild which was known as Tropical Weavers of Florida and eventually changed their name to what we know it as today, Florida Tropical Weavers Guild.
In 1942 The Orlando group separates, forming its own Guild to be called “Orlando Tropical Weavers Guild”. The two Guilds met separately and together for many years. When meeting together they had an annual Conference called Florida Tropical Weavers Guild (FTWG) Conference. This annual Conference continues bringing weavers from across the State together to participate in workshops and share a common love of weaving and fiber interests.
In November 1983 the Orlando Tropical Weavers Guild officially changed its name to The Weavers of Orlando to mark their own distinct identity.
Since its founding in 1942 The Weavers of Orlando has celebrated many milestones along the way. In 1992 the Guild celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a celebration luncheon in Winter Park. In 2016 The Weavers of Orlando attained Non-Profit (501c3) status. 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of Weavers of Orlando.
Today, The Weavers of Orlando has an active membership of almost 100 weavers, spinners, bead weavers, dyers, and fiber artists who continue to share their weaving knowledge at meetings, and workshops. The Guild continues to educate the community about weaving and fiber arts at community events and schools in the local area.
LAKE MARY MUSEUM OF HISTORY
The guild presented three distinct exhibits during their 75th year to showcase their handwork. The first event went on display the at the Lake Mary, FL Museum of History in June as part of the museum’s Quilting and Fabric Art Exhibit. The Lake Mary Museum of History is located at 158 N. Country Club Road, Lake Mary. Members of the Weavers of Orlando were on the porch for the general public on June 10, June 17 and June 24.
Caption to the photos: Weavers of Orlando provided demonstrations of spinning and weaving for visitors to the Lake Mary Historical Museum during the month of June, 2017. Here, Mary Ann G and Nancy R share their experience in the guild with Carolyn R of Heathrow and her friend, Mary Jane D of Lake Mary and showed them some basic spinning and weaving techniques.
Ms. Robinson examines a silk wedding dress that was made by a Lake Mary resident from parachute cloth during World War II. The blue nautical quilt, below, that she is examining was made ca.1850. The detail of the work in all of the colorful quilts is amazing!
Weavers of Orlando coordinated with Lake Mary Historical Museum curator Gerry E to showcase its weaving and spinning with the Quilting and Fiber Arts display for June, 2017. The display included detailed interpretive placards which documented the many historical garments and quilts that comprised the exhibit.
THREADS OF OUR LIVES: CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF WEAVING IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
The second event to memorialize the guild’s 75th anniversary was a major exhibit called “Threads of Our Lives – Celebrating 75 years of Weaving in Central Florida.” The exhibit hung in the Orange County Historical Museum, from June 24 to October 8, 2017 and featured The Weavers of Orlando. It presented the history of the guild through a surprising array of colors and textures in functional, wearable, and decorative art made by Central Florida crafts people who bring a modern twist to this age-old tradition. The museum is located at 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando and is an affiliate museum of the Smithsonian Institution. They are also accredited by the American Association of Museums.
The members of The Weavers of Orlando gathered for a group shot and to examine the expert display at the opening reception for the guild’s 75th Anniversary June 23rd. The buzz from the excited group was electric. The consensus: “The exhibit was ‘Spectacular!'”
Gloria D of the Weavers of Orlando proudly shows her wall hanging to WoO member, Berna Lowenstein, at the opening reception of the guild’s display at the Orange County Historical Museum on Friday, June 23. Her tapestry design is called a TELEMARKSTEPPE/ Skillbragd and is an old tradition in Norway, where her family has a rich, ancestral heritage.
Gloria explained the pattern: “The old Telemarksteppe had a wide variation in the treading, which made the designs become different, the colors appear clear and strong next each other. Norwegian weaver Norma Hardang made a study about the old rugs/carpets. She made a reconstruction as close as possible regarding materials used in the original rugs. She choose Linen 16/2 for the warp, Linen nr. 20 for the tabby, and the Norwegian Kunstvevgarn thin Prydvevgarn for the weft. All the rugs are from the West Telemark Region in Norway and they were woven in the period between 1795 to 1850. All these rugs got their names after the places (farm, ranch) from which they were woven. These rugs were highly regarded, and are still treasured fabrics. The study of these old fabrics show how the foremothers let fantasy, colors, and their creativity become “their rugs.” I got the inspiration to weave the Telemarksteppe based on the tradition and the history behind the women who wove these rugs, one upon a time. I took the challenge, even though I was in my early stage of learning the weaving craft. This is why my accomplishment of finishing the wall hanging/telemarksteppe holds a great deal of significance for me.”
Gloria’s work was selected to be featured at the entrance to the guild’s Anniversary display.
Here are her weaving details:
Skillbragd with Telemarksteppe patterns and plain weaving
Warp: Linen 20/2 unbleached, (Bockens) Tabby weft: Linen
16/1, unbleachead, (Bockens) Pattern: Rauma Prydvevgarn,
2-play Equipment: 6-shaft loom, 15-dent reed (55-10) Setts
Weft: 30 epi Weft: 34 ppi
THE LAKE EUSTIS MUSEUM OF ART EXHIBIT
The third exhibit to honor the Weavers of Orlando’s 75th Anniversary was hung at the Lake Eustis, FL Museum of Art from Nov. 3 to Dec. 20, 2017. The opening reception was held on Nov. 3 from 6 – 8 PM. The LEMA hosted the WoO member exhibit on fiber arts throughout the month and included demonstrations on Saturdays. The Lazy Kates of Mount Dora FL were also featured in this exhibit. WoO member Joy B, center, and Richard C, Executive Director of Lake Eustis Museum of Art, examine the collection of submissions for the exhibit. WoO member, Mary Ann G, left, assists with prepping the exhibit.
With the closing of this exhibit, the guild successfully completed three fantastic exhibit experiences – the first at Lake Mary Historic Museum, the second at the Orlando Historical Museum and this one, at the LEMA in downtown Eustis. This exhibit featured a nice selection of handwoven items from the Orlando Historical Museum, plus many new items. WoO member M.M. W of Mount Dora describes the construction technique of her rayon shag cape to museum curator Richard C and exhibits designer, Joy B.
Members of the Weavers of Orlando worked closely with the three curators and their staff at all three museums to produce three, distinct and memorable interpretive experiences. Weavers of Orlando members gathered at the opening reception, Nov 3, to enjoy their exhibit.
MEMORIES OF THE WEAVERS OF ORLANDO’S DIAMOND JUBILEE,
NOVEMBER 18, 2017
The guild’s diamond jubilee was celebrated Saturday, November 18, 2017 in a themed, catered luncheon at Orlando’s beautiful LEU GARDENS. The reception began on the sun-drenched Camelia Room veranda, where friends gathered and exchanged stories. Keynote speaker for the luncheon was guild member and past president, Ms. Berna L, who spoke on the guild’s past history and its future directions. After welcoming remarks by luncheon coordinator, Ms. Marilyn F and the blessing of the meal and tribute to the significant milestone of the event in three faiths: Hebrew by Ms. Berna L, Muslim by Ms. Lorena M and Christian by Ms. Pat I, the fellowship and camaraderie began.
For those of you who were not able to attend our Anniversary Banquet we are posting links here of the wonderful presentation that Berna L gave.
The presentation had to be divided up into 4 parts to be posted on the website so please click on the following links:
“The high point for me was the absolute smoothness of the event…it went off without any major glitches and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Weavers are truly good people! Something for everyone! Good friends, great conversation, relaxed and beautiful setting, tasty food, memories of the past …and a few souvenirs to treasure along with these new memories! Weavers of Orlando is a dynamic part of many lives.” Marilyn F.
“I know Granny – Betty TerLouw was smiling down upon the celebration.” Karen D
“To tell the truth, I’m still on a high from the 75th anniversary party. I thought it was perfect. The weather was beautiful and the time spent on the verdanda connecting with old friends and new friends was wonderful. Lots of people looked at the history books and the Millenium Book and watched the slideshow. The meal was tasty. The two cakes were attractive with their diamond and woven icing. When talking about Paul Robertson, I failed to mention LaVonne, who was a professor and taught textiles for seven years in Japan. I also wanted to mention how Beverly Tavel started our first website and about how Martina Kosloff took it forward, and how Mary Schmutte has taken it into its third generation. And about how Cyndy Landers introduced the goody bags. I wanted to keep my talk no longer than an hour and I just couldn’t fit in all the wonderful things the Weavers of Orlando volunteers have done over the years. I had so much fun. It it was nice to tell everyone about how we got to our Diamond Anniversary.”
Berna Lowenstein, Past President, Workshop Presenter.
“Sandy Lazarus is so happy that Garnet Knoblock made it with her handwoven coat.” Marilyn F.
Welcome…from a long time member to one of the newest!
The Weavers of Orlando has an active membership of more than 100 weavers, spinners, bead weavers, dyers, and fiber artists who continue to share their love of fiber arts through its meetings and in educational programs at community events and in schools in Central Florida.
The Weavers of Orlando has an active membership of almost 100 weavers, spinners, bead weavers, dyers, and fiber artists who continue to share their weaving knowledge at meetings, and workshops.
The Guild continues to educate the community about weaving and fiber arts at community events and schools in the local area.
The Planning Committee for the guild’s 75th Anniversary.
From left: Berna L, Marilyn F, Anne M, Diane C, Mary S, Cyndi L, Nancy R, Pat I, Bev T.